UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Can a Black-Box AI Replace Costly DMA Testing?—A Case Study on Prediction and Optimization of Dynamic Mechanical Properties of 3D Printed Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene Vahed, Ronak; Zareie Rajani, Hamid Reza; Milani, Abbas S.


The complex and non-linear nature of material properties evolution during 3D printing continues to make experimental optimization of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) costly, thus entailing the development of mathematical predictive models. This paper proposes a two-stage methodology based on coupling limited data experiments with black-box AI modeling and then performing heuristic optimization, to enhance the viscoelastic properties of FDM processed acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). The effect of selected process parameters (including nozzle temperature, layer height, raster orientation and deposition speed) as well as their combinative effects are also studied. Specifically, in the first step, a Taguchi orthogonal array was employed to design the Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) experiments with a minimal number of runs, while considering different working conditions (temperatures) of the final prints. The significance of process parameters was measured using Lenth’s statistical method. Combinative effects of FDM parameters were noted to be highly nonlinear and complex. Next, artificial neural networks were trained to predict both the storage and loss moduli of the 3D printed samples, and consequently, the process parameters were optimized via Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO). The optimized process of the prints showed overall a closer behavior to that of the parent (unprocessed) ABS, when compared to the unoptimized set-up.

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